About Carswell Rush Berlin
Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc. is a private antique furniture dealer in New York City specializing exclusively in top quality American formal furniture and decorative accessories of the first forty years of the 19th century, referred to as the classical period.
The first classical revival since the Renaissance, profoundly influencing European art, architecture and all the decorative and applied arts beginning in the 2nd quarter of the 18th century, began to effect American furniture design in the same years that the United States was becoming a nation, hence the terms "Federal" and "Classical" furniture. It was this taste for designs inspired by ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, as translated from English and French furniture design directories and pattern books by American cabinetmakers, which created the longest lived, most popular, most influential and, arguably, the most important period of American creativity and craftsmanship in our furniture making history.
The mission of Carswell Rush Berlin is to bring to the market important high-style examples from this classical period of Adam, Directoire, Empire and French Restauration furniture made in America's leading fashion and furniture-making centers, Salem, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore in the years 1800-1840. We focus on pieces ordered from the greatest designers and cabinetmakers by the wealthiest strata of American society of the period.
The firm's approach is highly selective, only buying for inventory examples that meet a high standard of design excellence, craftsmanship, quality of materials, original condition and rarity.
We are continually seeking to buy period examples of every form that meet these standards and welcome photographs sent by mail.
Each piece is extensively researched with the description supplied in writing. We offer to our clients an unconditional guarantee that each piece is as described.
Mr. Berlin grew up in a home steeped in American decorative arts
and surrounded by fine examples of 18th century American furniture,
his father having been a passionate collector. He became enthralled
with the classical aesthetic of the early 19th century over twenty
years ago, and is now considered one of the country's leading dealers
in this period.
I will offer two slide lectures sponsored by the American Decorative Arts Forum of Northern California, Sunday, May 10, 2015, at the de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco's Legion of Honor building. The lectures are titled: "'Solid and Permanent Grandeur:' The Design Roots of American Classical Furniture and Decorative Arts," and "'A Shadow of a Magnitude:' The Furniture of Thomas Cook and Richard Parkin, Philadelphia Cabinetmakers of the Classical Period." The lectures will be in thein the Florence Gould Theater. Solid and Permanent will begin at 11:00 am and Cook and Parkin at 2:00 pm.
Recent Speaking Engagements:
Winterthur Furniture Forum, Winterthur, Delaware, Friday, March 7, 2014, 2:30 pm., "A Shadow of a Magnitude: Thomas Cook & Richard Parkin, Philadelphia Cabinetmakers of the Classical Period", http://www.winterthur.org/?p=1121,
Other Notable Accomplishments:
He has lectured at New York University's School of Continuing Education where he is an adjunct professor. Mr. Berlin offers a course at NYU each Spring on early 19th century American furniture. He has lectured at the Parsons School of Design in New York, the prestigious Williamsburg Forum, the Detroit Institute of Art, The Saint Louis Museum of Art, Boscobel and the symposium on American Classical Furniture at the Yale University Art Gallery.
His furniture has been featured in The Magazine ANTIQUES, Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Art & Auction, and Veranda Magazine. Several pieces are highlighted in a February 2, 2011 article entitled "Lifestyle: A Rare Opportunity for a Residence" published by Antiques & Fine Art Magazine and www.afanews.com; from the 11th Anniversary issue, vol. X, no. 6. Read the article online.
He has a recently published article: "'A Shadow of a Magnitude:' The Furniture of Thomas Cook and Richard Parkin," American Furniture, (Chipstone Foundation, University Press of New England , 2013). www.UPNE.com
An essay entitled "Solid and Permanent Grandeur: The Design Roots of American Classical Furniture" is featured in the show catalogue for the International Fine Art and Antique Dealers Show in NYC, October 18th-24th, 2002. Read the article online. His article "An Important Rosewood and Cast-Iron Gueridon Attributed to Duncan Phyfe" was published in The Magazine ANTIQUES, May 2000 issue (Vol. CLVII, NO. 5) pages 770-777. Mr. Berlin's article "Classical Furniture in Federal Philadelphia" was published in Antiques & Fine Art Magazine, Spring 2007 vol. VII, Issue 5, p.192-199. Read the article online.
He is also writing a comprehensive guide to formal American furniture of the first half of the 19th century.
Mr. Berlin serves on the Board of Trustees of The Long Island Museum
of American Art, History and Carriages, (formerly The Museums at Stony
Brook) (NY) and Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum He is a member
of the prestigious National Antiques and Art Dealers Association of
America (NAADAA) and the Antique Dealers Association of America (ADA).
A graduate of Kenyon College, he founded Carswell Rush Berlin, Inc.
in 1992 to serve museums and collectors. Mr. Berlin has also been designated as a USPAP certified appraiser by the Appraisers Association of America. The firm's clients include:
Our inventory may also be viewed on InCollect.com and 1st Dibs: https://www.1stdibs.com/dealers/carswell-rush-berlin-inc/
While always welcome to visit our private
gallery by appointment, Carswell Rush Berlin also exhibits at top
antiques shows throughout the country, including:
Winter Antiques Show
Park Avenue Armory,